Want a Strong, Safe, Smart Workplace? Begin with Your Hiring

Most startups and entrepreneurs in general envision a strong, safe, and smart workplace before opening their doors for business. However, once operational, you may start noticing things reminiscent of moving into a different house: the doors start to creak, a pipe leaks, boards in the framework start to warp, windows start to leak, and you start to fear for your well-being.

Most research points to ballpark figures when it comes to a new business failure: Roughly 20 percent of all small businesses fail during their first year while 50 percent fail in their fifth year. Experts attribute many reasons–insufficient capital being number one–for these failures.

However, according to a human resources and personnel advisor, Pando Logic, who you hire will ultimately determine the success of your business if you happen to fall into the 50 percent of five-year businesses landing in the plus zone of the failure equation. You must hire the right talent at the right time, says the talent acquisition consultant. So, how do you ensure this happens?

First, try to avoid hiring for an immediate need based on a suddenly immediate situation. Sometimes, this is unavoidable, but if you follow a holistic, long-term regimen in hiring, you will find your rate of dealing with surprise job vacancies and their related urgencies will begin to dwindle.

From employee accidents that threaten the livelihood of your new business and employee safety, to unsafe conditions, to who you hire, to how you design your workplace and physical environment, your dream business can suddenly become a nightmare because of liability and lawsuits.

So, how should an entrepreneur striving to create a vibrant and healthy workplace design his hiring process? Simply follow some quite logical guidelines.


  1. Identify not only your current needs, but your far-ranging needs as well.

Your business plan should include an employee paradigm that starts with your very first hire. That paradigm should include competency in the position to be filled, an attitude that supports the business mission or objective, a demonstrated passion for the type of work involved, and–though so obvious it is often overlooked–a regard for employee safety and a healthy workplace. If your first and ensuing interviewees do not meet these metrics, keep searching for the right hire. All these values will result in a team of workers with their eye on the big picture.


  1. Take time to do some homework on your new hire.

Sometimes employers need to go beyond calling an applicant’s former bosses from the resume’s reference list. Try to contact former co-workers of the prospective hire. They usually know the person on a day-in and day-out basis better than a supervisor or owner does. Also, familiarize yourself with what the former companies that employed the applicant do. If possible, try to gain an idea of their employee turnover. What could be the reason your applicant is leaving one work environment for another?


  1. Take real-time measures in checking an applicant’s background.

Via the interview process, you can ascertain a lot about how well the applicant or recruited prospect knows your industry, niche, or the position involved. However, regardless of their experience and knowledge, you must also examine behavioral practices to maintain a smart workplace. Most importantly, you must know if their lifestyle habits might inhibit productivity or employee safety. Employees who drink, use drugs, or engage in both simultaneously carry a risk factor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, workplace injury and illness cases amount to nearly 3 per 100 workers in private industry. From company car mishaps to slip and fall incidents, the indirect costs of accidents resulting from substance abuse can exceed direct costs by 4 to 10 times, according to labor statistics. These include losses in productivity, training, employee compensation, added administrative time, and reduced labor that results in loss of clientele.


  1. Incorporate drug testing from the very beginning.

 Whether new hires or established employees, a budding business should never apologize for administering a drug test. According to the National Safety Council, workers with substance abuse disorders miss about 50 percent more workdays than healthy employees. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates that 70 percent of the nearly 15 million in the U.S. who use drugs are employed and costing employers more than $80 billion annually. So, what’s the best way to minimize your costs due to accidents, theft, or lost productivity? Administer drug tests during your hiring process. Though several testing options are available – urine, hair, blood, or saliva — according to drug testing manufacturer and industry leader Confirm Biosciences, saliva testing is the most popular, convenient, non-invasive, cheat-proof, and effective option for business owners. Administering a saliva drug test starting with your first hire will help ensure a healthy workplace that embraces employee safety.


Creating a strong, safe, smart work environment begins with your first hire. Incorporating solid hiring policies and procedures, which include drug testing, stands to save your new business from the potential of financially fatal incidents stemming from inconsistent hiring methodologies.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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